ISFE CEO Simon Little said: “Our industry has best-in-class minor protection and gameplay management tools but we are aware that having the tools is not enough – we need to ensure that everyone knows about them and knows how to use them. The campaign joins ISFE’s national members across Europe who are investing in information initiatives directed to their national population in their native language.
“In our many conversations with policymakers, parents and players about our sector, and through the regular surveys we conduct, we know that we still have work to do to raise the profile and encourage the use of the comprehensive safeguards we already have in place. We encourage everyone to use the tools to manage screen time, spend and online interaction, for example, and to pay attention to the PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) content descriptors and age ratings that inform parents, at the point of purchase, about the content of a game, whether or not it contains the opportunity to make in-game purchases and what is the appropriate age for the player.
“With the Christmas holidays approaching and children starting to drop hints about presents, it’s a good time to launch this campaign to give parents time to inform themselves and prepare.”
Europe’s video games sector is a thriving creative and digital industry that provides enjoyment, entertainment, fitness, education, and helps to improve digital skills. With half of Europe's population playing video games, the video games industry has always been at the forefront of encouraging responsible gameplay through education and information campaigns directed to national populations in their native languages, some of which are in collaboration with public authorities.
Little concluded: “Online safety is a priority for Europe’s policymakers as well as for parents and industry alike. Europe’s video games industry can be proud of its long-established history of minor protection and ongoing commitment to safety and invites everyone to Seize the Controls this Christmas and beyond, play together, use the many tools available to them, and talk to each other about how they manage their gameplay.”
Under the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) umbrella, European Schoolnet coordinates the European network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) along with the annual Safer Internet Day (SID) campaign, on behalf of the European Commission. This important work aims to raise awareness of safer and better internet issues with a range of stakeholders, including parents, caregivers, and educators – and children and young people themselves – while also providing helpline services to offer localised support on a range of online issues.
Speaking of the campaign, Hans Martens, Head of Digital Citizenship at European Schoolnet, leading the Better Internet for Kids project said: "Millions of young people in Europe play video games, and we know that many parents are looking for information on how they can manage their children’s play. We're delighted to see initiatives such as these - to raise awareness, and encourage both players and parents to #SeizeTheControls – so that gameplay can be a safe, rewarding, enjoyable and positive experience.”
The Seize the Controls campaign can be accessed here.
Find out more about the work of the Insafe network at www.betterinternetforkids.eu and connect with your local Safer Internet Centre via www.betterinternetforkids.eu/sic. Safer Internet Day (SID) 2022 will take place on Tuesday, 8 February 2022, encouraging all stakeholders to join "Together for a better internet" through a range of activities, initiatives and campaigns. Find out more at www.safeinternetday.org. Find out more about ISFE’s plans for Safer Internet Day 2022 at www.saferinternetday.org/supporters/isfe.
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